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Last-Minute Shoppers Running Out Of Time

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black friday, shopping, shopper
Derek Valcourt 370x278 Derek Valcourt
Derek Valcourt began working at WJZ in September 2002. His first major...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Time is running out on holiday shopping, with only hours left until many stores close for Christmas.

Derek Valcourt explains there’s some good news for those who still have shopping to do.

With what was a lackluster start to the holiday shopping season, retailers are fiercely competing for those last-minute shoppers with big bargains and extended hours.

Retail analysts say the last weekend before Christmas–normally a busy one–was slower for many retailers than in years past. With many consumers preferring to buy online, that leaves stores competing for shoppers like Lorena Shiflett.

“I’m a last-minute shopper all the time,” Shiflett said. “I’m a procrastinator; I’m always at the end.”

In fact, the National Retail Federation expects 10 percent of all shoppers fall into that category. They won’t be finished their shopping list until Christmas Eve.

“I like it. It’s exciting for me,” said Demetria Lucas.

That has many stores slashing already low prices in an effort to beat the competition and lure shoppers hunting for a deal.

“You need the bargains to survive. A lot of us are living paycheck to paycheck so bargains is what it is,” said Denny Montgomery.

“It means a lot, you know, money. We are trying to stretch a dollar into, like, two, three dollars so finding that, it means a whole lot,” said Maria Amador.

“We’re ready for the last-minute shopper,” said J.C. Penney general manager Greg Valmas.

Valmas says extended hours are just another tool many stores use to entice shoppers in the final gift-buying days.

“We have been very consistent and steady. Of course, the closer we get to Christmas, the more people we are going to get,” Valmas said.

But this year, more retailers than ever are staying open around the clock. Toys-R-Us, Kohl’s, Macy’s at the Columbia Mall and select Wal-Mart stores will remain open—not closing at all until Christmas Eve.

Though most sales are big now, many shoppers say they’ll wait until after Christmas, when they expect the discounts will be even bigger as stores lower prices in an effort to clear out old inventory.

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